Google isn’t the only game in town. But are other search engines worth exploring for your search engine marketing efforts?
Here you’ll find:
- Why now is the right time to explore search engines other than Google
- A rundown of the search engines other than Google you need to know about
- Which search engines dominate and where
- The latest search engine stats
Google is so popular that it’s officially a verb in the dictionary. That’s an achievement few other brands can boast.
But Google is far from the only search engine out there.
From other big names in tech — like Microsoft and Yahoo — to alternative search platforms that specialize in privacy or planting trees, exploring other search engines could greatly benefit your marketing efforts.
While searchers may have a choice in where they search for information, advertisers can’t control which search engines their potential customers use most.
If you use search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising in your marketing strategy (and you do, right?), you have a vested interest in learning what search engines are out there and how they work. Otherwise, you might be missing out on a search engine your audience is using — and have competitors lapping you in search results.
Here’s a closer look at what other search engines have to offer.
The top 13 search engines other than Google:
Why you should care about search engines other than Google
Google is the bona fide boss of the search market, with more than 85% of the market share as of 2023. But there are some other important players taking up that other 15%.
Beyond extending the reach of your marketing campaign, it’s wise to optimize for other search engines for these reasons:
#1. While currently dominant, Google’s market share is steadily declining. This steady and slow decline indicates that internet users are starting to explore other search options. So now is the time for your marketing team to take note and start planning content focused on these alternative search engines.
#2. Many companies ignore all search engines other than Google, which gives you the opportunity to reach certain audiences faster.
#3. Paid advertising is also often less expensive on alternative search engines. For example, the average cost-per-click (CPC) for Bing Ads is $1.42, while Google Ads’ average CPC is $2.69. That’s quite a difference, huh?
Sure, Google should still probably continue to get the majority of your time and attention for marketing purposes. But experimenting with Google alternatives may bring you surprising results and allow you to learn and understand these algorithms before they start taking up a bigger share of the market.
Let’s take a look at some search engines other than Google that you can start exploring in your marketing strategy.
13 search engines other than Google to consider
When it comes to market share, Bing sits proudly in second place.
Here are some key stats about Bing you need to know:
- The number of monthly visitors on Bing is over 1.1 billion.
- The largest age group on Bing is 25-34, making up 29.22% of users.
- 34% of Microsoft Search Network users (which includes Bing) have graduated college.
- 36% of Microsoft Search Network users have a household income in the top 25%.
When it comes to paid advertising, ads on Bing have their own unique advantages.
When you use them, you’re putting your ads out on the Microsoft Network (Bing, Yahoo, and AOL). Plus, the CPC on Bing is lower than on Google, and in certain industries, the difference is significant.
For example, in the legal sector, Bing ads have an average CPC of $1.42, whereas Google is over four times as much at $6.75.
DuckDuckGo is popular among users who are concerned about privacy. It positions itself as a search engine that doesn’t track or personalize search results.
With almost 2% of the search market share in the U.S. as of March 2023, DuckDuckGo has seen a steady increase in popularity, which could be attributed to the rise in people’s concern about their personal data and privacy.
Today, around 80 million people use DuckDuckGo globally, with a daily average of about 97 million searches. While the reach of DuckDuckGo is narrower than that of Google or Bing, the number of users is increasing.
Pro tip: The paid advertising on DuckDuckGo is done through Bing Ads.
If a part of your target audience is located in Russia, you want to pay special attention to Yandex. In this country, Yandex is the leading search engine, with 71% of the market share.
When using Yandex for advertising, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with Russian web privacy laws. (General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, isn’t active in Russia.)
While the global market share of Yandex is just 0.35%, it’s one of the top four search engines in the world and can be an excellent investment for businesses that operate in Russia.
If your business works with a Chinese audience, you’ll want to pay special attention to Baidu.
Since Google is blocked in mainland China, Baidu holds the top spot as the most popular search engine, accounting for an incredible 90% of the market share.
Baidu is also a popular search engine among Japanese users and Chinese users outside of China. In total, it reports 622 million monthly active users.
Advertising on Baidu can be tricky since Chinese laws are strict about advertising. To start using Baidu Ads, you need to provide a significant amount of paperwork.
When advertising on this search engine, you also have to work with a local manager who makes sure that you aren’t marketing anything that can be considered “sensitive,” according to Chinese laws.
No matter your target audience, there’s likely a significant portion that cares about sustainability. For brands looking to connect with an environmentally conscious audience, take some time to dig into Ecosia.
This search engine promises users to spend the money it earns through advertising on planting trees. And with almost 70% of Americans in favor of the US taking steps to become carbon neutral by 2050, chances are some of your audience may overlap..
Ecosia reports that it has more than 20 million active users, and its global market share is 0.11%. This search engine is especially popular among Germans, where the company is based, and there is a strong culture of caring about the environment.
With environmental concerns growing steadily, Ecosia’s popularity is likely to grow as well. And since advertising on this search engine is less expensive than on Google, spending some of your marketing budgets there may make sense.
Ecosia’s search results and ads are powered by Microsoft Bing. However, the search engine says that it enhances ads with its own algorithms.
Just like DuckDuckGo, Swisscows focuses on user privacy. Since launching in 2014, it claims not to store any data, positioning itself as a private alternative to Google. It also claims to be “family-friendly” by not surfacing results that could be deemed explicit.
The majority of traffic to Swisscows comes from searchers in Switzerland. However, more than 23.63% of its visitors come from the US.
The search engine gets about 9 million users monthly and works with Microsoft Bing for advertising.
Brave Search is a search engine developed by Brave Software and is the default search engine for Brave web browser users in some countries.
Currently, its search market share is not listed as its search engine is a relatively new addition to its browser.
However, it’s still a network to consider advertising on, as the Brave browser has grown rapidly in recent years. As of December 2022, it had 55.45 million monthly users, which is no small number.
One of the most notable things about Brave Search is that it uses its own independent index of the web.
Many other small search engines, such as DuckDuckGo and Ecosia, use larger engines like Google or Bing to create their search results.
As the user base of Brave’s browser grows, it’s likely that its search user base will, too, so now could be the smart time to get ahead of your competition and start advertising there.
Like Brave, Mojeek is a search engine with its own search index.
For users, this means it delivers unbiased results and is excellent for research. But, on the other hand, it can also mean there may be limited results and hamper research as it doesn’t pull results from search engines such as Google.
Almost half of Mojeek’s user base is located in the United States. But it’s also popular in the U.K., France, and China, with each making up around 6% of its user base.
It also has a predominantly male user base. Almost three-quarters (72%) are male. This is worth taking note of as most of the other search engines on this list have a more even split between male and female users.
Kagi is a little different from the other search engines on this list. Typically, search engines are free. They can offer their services without a cost because they collect data and advertise.
Kagi runs with a subscription model — which means advertising isn’t an option.
However, you can still try to rank organically on this unique platform.
We’ve seen how subscription models like Netflix took off because some users want to avoid ads. Kagi’s model for search engines could potentially grow in popularity, and we think it’s worth the time to learn more about the platform.
Gibiru touts itself as an “uncensored” private search engine. They don’t use tracking cookies or log your IP address. It has Firefox and Chrome browser extensions as well as Apple and Android mobile apps. They’ve been protecting their users’ data since 2009.
While Gibiru doesn’t offer an ad platform, you’ll still want to make sure your search engine optimization (SEO) is properly optimized so you rank in the search results. While they do keep the specifics of their ranking algorithm close to the vest, it wouldn’t hurt to use similar strategies to those you use for Google and Bing.
For instance, it would appear that knowledge-based links like those from Wikipedia will have a positive effect on ranking on this platform.
Searx is an open-source metasearch engine. They don’t share their users’ search history or IP addresses. This engine provides a different type of search experience from most of those we’ve listed so far. Rather than providing its own results, Searx compiles its search results from a combination of other search providers.
They don’t offer ad placement right now, but who knows what the future holds?
WolframAlpha answers search queries by calculating the answers. It’s a computational search engine, meaning it does the math for you. It’s available as an app on Google Play and the App Store and on desktop.
Even though it doesn’t answer typical qualitative questions like Google Search results, WolframAlpha offers advertising. Talk about catering to a niche market!
Startpage is yet another search engine that prides itself on protecting its users’ privacy. They don’t use trackers or keep track of your browsing history. You can rest assured your data is safe. If you still want to use Google, you can by installing a Startpage Chrome extension.
Social media networks as search engines
Did you know that social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn have advanced search options? Many people use social networks for a variety of information, such as reviews, hours of operation, menus, appointment scheduling, and directions. YouTube offers DIY how-tos for every situation, and even Twitter offers an advanced search option to scour tweets for events and political commentary.
We’ve covered a lot of platforms here, so you may be wondering which upcoming platforms you should check out. While your first thought might be to keep an eye on more traditional search engines, our CEO suggests social media should be on your radar instead.
“In terms of upcoming search engines,” says Yadegar. “TikTok should be on our radar.”
There’s no denying Google’s power when it comes to online search.
However, there are a lot of search engines other than Google growing in popularity.
Yadegar suggests keeping our search engine options open outside of just Google in order to access a variety of “diverse opinions and search results, different content uploaded to different platforms give users a more holistic view on things.”
By focusing your attention on other search engines, you’re also widening your reach and potentially increasing your marketing ROI.
This article has been updated and was originally published in October 2021.